In-image advertising and marketing platform GumGum has launched its Australian operations, signing Bauer Media’s digital division Bauer Xcel Media as its foundation publisher partner.
GumGum is led by Jon Stubley, who holds the role of VP ANZ sales. He previously spent just over two years with streaming radio service Pandora Internet Radio as commercial director Australia.
Speaking to Mumbrella Stubley said: “GumGum is a digital marketing platform for the digital web, with our technology we’re able to contextually target images on webpages and we’re able to capture information about those images and then serve up ads accordingly within the boundaries of those images on a web page.”
The company aims to offer up a digital ad that complements the images used on a web page effectively monetising images on websites. For example, the technology can analyse an image of a woman and pick up the woman’s hair colour to target an ad for a hair dye product.
Stubley said once the technology has analysed the image it can then place a contextually relevant ad.
“We can serve up our ad units based on that targeting ability, but overlaid with the publisher’s that we work with, or through the trading desk, from a perspective of first party data and third party data. We cannot only target contextually but we can target from an audience as well,” he said.
The partnership with Bauer Xcel Media will see GumGum’s advertising solutions made available across Bauer’s To Love digital women’s network, Beauty Heaven and broader digital properties including WhichCar and Wheelsmag.com.au.
“In the US we work with about 2,000 publishers ranging from an exclusive arrangement with Time Inc. We also work with Hearst, we work with Rolling Stone, as well as some of the tabloids. What we do with our publishers is make sure they are brand-safe, a lot of them are premium publishers,” he said.
“We have an arrangement in the US with Bauer, we have an arrangement in the UK with Bauer. They love our adtech, they see this is a great solution as part of their overall digital solution. Their sales teams will also sell our adtech.
“This is not impacting their current ad inventory. We’re effectively monetising inventory they never would have been able to monetise before.”
Bauer Xcel Media digital commercial director Peter Manten said in a statement: “The power of GumGum’s contexual placement will deliver higher viewability, engagement and, as proved by the success of the product in the US, a lift in brand metrics. I look forward to rolling out the opportunity to clients over the coming weeks across Bauer’s premium editorial content.”
The company is looking to sign other deals with other publishers in the future.
Stubley said the technology improves viewability of ads, however he admits viewability doesn’t mean an ad has been seen.
“If this was 12 months down the track I’d like to see how some of our ad units are solving some of the problems the industry is facing around display.
“Firstly, because of the way the units are served up, they only serve up when the image is within the browser, or on a mobile device. Which means our units are inherently viewable which is a big issue in the industry right now,” he said.
“Across the ad units and the different platforms, we run at about an 81% average viewability, which is incredibly high.”
Stubley is hopeful that in 12 months GumGum and the wider industry will have made some “headway” around the issue of viewability as well as some “consistency” around measurement of viewability.
“Rightly the IAB has been considered looking at this, but the industry is moving quickly but it’s kind of crazy that we’re able to charge for ads that haven’t been seen,” he said.
“But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Viewability is only a step in the right direction. Just because an ad is ‘viewable’ doesn’t mean it’s seen. This goes back to banner blindness. Just because an ad is 100% viewable doesn’t mean anyone has actually paid attention to it.”
Stubley, based in Sydney, will be responsible for strategic growth, revenue and team development within Australia and New Zealand. He will focus his immediate attention on building a sales and clients team.